the green fields beyond

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Location: Charles City, Virginia, United States

Friday, June 05, 2009

A thing of beauty

Usually, people only notice a proofreader's work when he makes a mistake. In that respect, proofreaders are like bodyguards, safety inspectors, and others whose work is spotlighted more often for its failures than for its successes.
But I want to stop and pay tribute to the person (or more likely, persons) who proofread Lonesome Dove (20th anniversary Hardback edition). I was about halfway through this 864-page novel when I realized that I hadn't seen a misspelling, a typo, or a misplaced bit of punctuation anywhere. If I hadn't already had proofreading on the brain, i'd never have thought of it at all....which is the POINT of a proofreader's work. And it's typeset nicely too: wide pages with just the right amount of text. I was suddenly inspired to redouble my efforts at my own proofreading and copyediting work. I'd like to produce books that are so error-free that the reader will, as it were, meet the author face-to-face without the abominable Mr. Misspelling and Ms. Error interrupting the conversation, making rude noises and putting on distracting faces.

3 Comments:

said...

Well said; two thumbs up! A proofreader/copyeditor's work should basically disappear into the background.

9:01 PM  
said...

After I worked as a proofreader I noticed so many mistakes that I would previously have overlooked. Now, when I see a misspelling or misuse of punctuation in a published work, it really bothers me because I know how many times it has been proofread and copy edited before going to publication, and I think that somewhere along the line someone should have noticed it!

11:35 AM  
said...

Justin & friends, If you want to cringe at a book error, go to this website & read what happened:

http://www.maevebinchy.com/.

(I had just read that earlier in the evening & then read your post - no more reading for me tonight. I love you & will see you soon, Mom

9:05 PM  

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